Rituals (Importance to Discipleship)

The Importance of Rituals

James K.A. Smith demonstrates in this video below why Christians need to discover the power of habit and rituals.  Smith helps us see that we are “liturgical creatures.” Most importantly,  we are designed this way by God.  Therefore, our growth in discipleship should be repetitive and ritualistic too.  Additionally, Smith notes that this is precisely how the Holy Spirit often works.  The Spirit works from the top-down, forming us with repetition.  However, he is careful to point out that this is not something we do on our own effort.  We don’t try to earn God’s favor from the bottom-up, superstitiously.

Smith’s Conclusion

We should not allow ourselves to be habituated to sin.  This often comes to us from the culture around us.  Most importantly, these are often unseen.  Therefore, the spiritual battle is not so much a series of rational decisions, but a spiritual warfare of habituation.  God wants us to be habituate ourselves to Him and His Kingdom.  The devil wants to habituate us to his darkness.

Traditional Anglicanism: Full of Rituals and Repetition Needed for Discipleship

In conclusion, our parish, as a part of the Anglican Catholic Church, provides the opportunity to grow in Christ.   We have a lifestyle consisting of daily prayers and readings, weekly partaking of the sacraments, activities during the Liturgical Year.  Thus, these activities provide all Christians the very opportunity to grow in Christ the way that Smith is talking about.

Because of Smith’s insights, here is a great resource: a wonderful book review of the basis for his talk (You Are What You Love).

The Liturgical Year

The liturgical year itself is both fascinating and important to the Christian life.  The rhythm of our life is hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, and even yearly.  Therefore, there are different levels of ritual.  The below video is a helpful overview of the liturgical year.


Most importantly, the key to understanding the power of habit and ritual is that it’s top-down formation, from the Holy Spirit.


Christian altar

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